When Your Parent Writes a Memoir

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Kate is a textbook introvert who prefers fictional characters over people. When she’s not hiding behind a book, she’s hiding behind a computer as a marketing associate. A hopeless romantic with a cynical heart, Kate will read anything that comes with a content warning, a love triangle, and a major plot twist. She can also be found at her pop-culture blog, Snarky Yet Satisfying. Follow her on Twitter @katekrug.

There is a book written about my life.

Ok, there is a book that includes my life. My childhood, to be exact.

In 2013, my father self-published her autobiography, Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty, and Gender Change. All about–well, I think you can guess–her transition from male to female. My name is changed. But, hell, cat’s out of the bag now…Hi, I’m Emily.

I haven’t read the book and quite frankly, I have no desire to. My parents’ divorce hit me hard and I don’t want to experience that feeling again. It also, admittedly, probably shines a light on the fact that it took longer for me to come around to her transition–something I deeply regret and don’t want to relive. I know I can’t speak for the quality for the book, but if the 4.9 star rating on Amazon is anything to go by, it’s pretty dece. And yes, this is an achievement I regularly hear about, so if you do decide to pick it up and review it, let it be known: Ellen Krug will read your thoughts.

So, what is it like knowing that there are strangers across the U.S. who are now privy to your family’s secrets? Well, to be fair, they’re not really secrets anymore. And, frankly, it shouldn’t have to be a secret. There’s no shame in being your true self. As a writer, I understand the desire to tell your story–especially if your narrative is one that a majority of society still don’t quite understand. In a world of Bathroom Bills and bullying, I think it’s important that these stories and individuals are given an outlet.

Non-fiction not your thing? Don’t worry, it’s not mine either. In 2016, I read three books that feature trans individuals as main characters and all were quality. Check out: When the Moon Was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore; Beast, Brie Spangler; and If I Was Your Girl, Meredith Russo. I guess I can also give a shameless plug for my father’s book even though I haven’t read it (that’s how much I love you, dad).